The Best and Healthiest Egg to Eat
Dr. Mercola Site
Mother Earth News recently finished their latest egg-testing project,
confirming their 2005 test results that showed true free-range eggs are
far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs.
Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data
for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:
1/3 less cholesterol
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene
These dramatically differing nutrient levels are most likely the result
of the differences in diet between free-range pastured hens, vs.
commercially farmed hens.
Without citing any research of their own, most egg industry advocates
hold fast to their claim that commercially farmed eggs are no different
from pastured eggs, and that hens’ diets do not alter their eggs
nutritional value in any significant way.
Mother Earth News points out the flawed and downright fraudulent
definitions of “true free-range.” The United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) defines “free-range” as chickens that have “access to
the outside.” However, it does not define their diets, nor whether or
not the “outside access” is to a cement courtyard or a field fit for
Mother Earth News October/November 2007
Eggs are one of the healthiest foods in the world, and at their very
best if you eat them raw. But the quality of your eggs is also
The REAL Definition of Free-Range Eggs
The nutritional difference between true free-range eggs and commercially
farmed eggs is not an occasional fluke or misprint, as these findings
are being backed up with a mounting body of evidence.
The fact that the USDA and other organizations (which are often funded
or influenced by industry) refuse to acknowledge that there is a direct
link between the diet of the bird and the nutritional value of their
eggs, is a clear indicator that there are strong financial incentives at
work – not nutritional science. Because clearly, “garbage in, garbage
out” applies here as well. This general rule will never change – it
applies equally to hens, beef cattle, dairy cows, and your own body.
And don’t be fooled by the egg industry’s double-speak definitions of
what free-range really is. True free-range eggs are from hens that range
freely outdoors on a pasture where they can forage for their natural
diet, which includes seeds, green plants, insects, and worms. A hen that
is let outside into a barren lot for a few minutes a day but is fed a
diet of corn, soy, and cottonseed meals, plus synthetic additives, is
NOT a free-range hen, and will not produce the same quality eggs as its
An additional issue that is important, but not discussed here, is the
fact that the main ingredients of commercially raised hens' diets are
genetically modified (GM).
As I reported recently, the three main GM ingredients in the United
States’ food supply are corn, soy, and cottonseed. All the more reason
to stay away from commercial eggs, even if they state “free-range” on
Which Eggs to Buy, and Which You Should Avoid
Additionally, I would STRONGLY encourage you to AVOID ALL omega-3 eggs,
as they are actually LESS healthy for you. Typically, the animals are
fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized.
Also, omega-3 eggs do not last anywhere near as long as non-omega-3
eggs. Remember, omega- 3 eggs are highly perishable and should be
If you have to purchase your eggs from a commercial grocery store, I
would advise getting free-range organic. Ideally, if at all possible it
would be far preferable to purchase your eggs directly from your local
farmer, because this way you can be certain of the quality. This may not
be as hard as you think. In my experience, this is one of the easiest
foods to find from local farmers.
Why Eggs are Good for
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